Apollo 16

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Apollo 16
Mission Insignia
Apollo 16 insignia
Mission Statistics
Mission Name: Apollo 16
Call Sign: Command module: Casper
Lunar module: Orion
Number of
Launch: April 16, 1972
17:54:00 UTC
Kennedy Space Center
LC 39A
Lunar Landing: April 21, 1972
02:23:35 UTC
8° 58' 22.84" S - 15° 30' 0.68" E
Descartes Highlands
Lunar EVA
1st: 7 h 11 min 2 s
2nd: 7 h 23 min 9 s
3rd: 5 h 40 min 3 s
Total:20 h 14 min 14 s
CMP EVA: 1 h 23 min 42 s
Lunar surface
71 h 2 min 13 s
Lunar sample
95.71 kg (211 lbs)
Splashdown: April 27, 1972
19:45:05 UTC
0° 43' S - 156° 13' W
Duration: 11 d 1 h 51 min 5 s
Number of
Lunar Orbits:
Time in
Lunar Orbit:
125 h 49 min 32.59 s
Mass: CSM 30,395 kg;
LM 16,445 kg
Crew Picture
Apollo 16 crew portrait (L-R: Mattingly, Young and Duke)
Apollo 16 crew portrait
(L-R: Mattingly, Young and Duke)
Apollo 16 Crew

Apollo 16 was the tenth manned mission in the Apollo program and the fifth mission to land on the Moon.


Backup crew

Support crew

Mission parameters

  • Mass:
    • Launch mass: 2,921,005 kg
    • Total spacecraft: 46,782 kg
      • CSM mass: 30,354 kg, of which CM was 5840 kg, SM 24,514 kg
      • LM mass: 16,428 kg, of which ascent stage was 4971 kg, descent stage 11,457 kg
  • Earth orbits: 3 before leaving for Moon, about one on return
  • Lunar orbits: 64

LM - CSM docking


  • Young and Duke - EVA 1
  • EVA 1 Start: April 21, 1972, 16:47:28 UTC
  • EVA 1 End: April 21, 23:58:40 UTC
  • Duration: 7 hours, 11 minutes, 02 seconds
  • Young and Duke - EVA 2
  • EVA 2 Start: April 22, 1972, 16:33:35 UTC
  • EVA 2 End: April 22, 23:56:44 UTC
  • Duration: 7 hours, 23 minutes, 09 seconds
  • Young and Duke - EVA 3
  • EVA 3 Start: April 23, 1972, 15:25:28 UTC
  • EVA 3 End: April 23, 21:05:31 UTC
  • Duration: 5 hours, 40 minutes, 03 seconds
  • Mattingly - Transearth EVA 4
  • EVA 4 Start: April 25, 1972, 20:33:46 UTC
  • EVA 4 End: April 25, 21:57:28 UTC
  • Duration: 1 hour, 23 minutes, 42 seconds

The splashdown point was 0 deg 43 min S, 156 deg 13 min W, 215 miles (350 km) southeast of Christmas Island and 5 km (3 mi) from the recovery ship USS Ticonderoga.

Mission highlights

John Young jumps while saluting the flag. (NASA)
File:Apollo 16 LM Orion.jpg
John Young works at the LRV near the LM Orion (NASA)

A malfunction in a yaw gimbal servo loop in the main propulsion system of the CSM "Casper" caused concerns about firing the engine to adjust the CSM's lunar orbit, and nearly caused the Moon landing to be scrubbed. But it was decided that the malfunction presented relatively little risk, and Young and Duke (who were already undocked, and flying LM "Orion" when the problem occurred) were permitted to land on the Moon. However, the mission was shortened by a day (reducing the time in orbit around the Moon after the LM left the Moon and docked with the CSM), as a safety measure.

Young and Duke spent three days exploring the Descartes highland region, while Mattingly circled overhead in "Casper." The astronauts discovered that what was thought to have been a region of volcanism was actually a region full of impact-formed rocks (breccias). Their collection of returned specimens included an 25 pound (11 kg) chunk that was the largest single rock returned by the Apollo astronauts (nicknamed Big Muley). The Apollo 16 astronauts also conducted performance tests with the lunar rover, at one time getting up to a top speed of 11 miles per hour (18 kilometers per hour), which still stands as the record speed for any wheeled vehicle on the Moon (listed as such in the Guinness Book of Records).


depiction of the plaque left on the moon by Apollo 16

The crew members: John W. Young, commander; Ken Mattingly, command module pilot; and Charles Duke, lunar module pilot. It was a J-class mission, featuring a Lunar Rover. It brought back 94.7 kg of lunar samples. It included three lunar EVA: 7.2 hours, 7.4 hours, 5.7 hours and one trans-earth EVA of 1.4. This was only the second trans-earth EVA ever and was used to bring in film from exterior cameras and conduct an experiment on microbial survival.

The Apollo 16 subsatellite was launched from the CSM while it was in lunar orbit. The subsatellite carried out experiments on magnetic fields and solar particles. It was launched April 24, 1972 at 21:56:09 UTC and orbited the Moon for 34 days and 425 revolutions. It had a mass of 80 lb (36.3 kg) and consisted of a central cylinder and three 1.5 m booms.


The command module is currently at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, in Huntsville, Alabama. The lunar module ascent stage separated 24 April 1972 but a loss of attitude control rendered it out of control. It orbited the Moon for about a year. Its impact site on the Moon is unknown.



See also


External links

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